ART THERAPY - Inclusive Education Program

Since January 2015, with Fund for Armenian Relief support, Armenian NGO "Zinvori Mayr" ("Soldier's Mother") has launched a new educational program, in which children with physical needs who are living and growing up in the families of soldiers, will be able to get free education in reputable art studios and workshops in Yerevan. The purpose of the project is that the children will be afforded with a good opportunity to communicate with their peers, as well as take an active participation in the public life of the city. The society has been able to encompass the families of soldiers with care and assistance, which need support and help.

The NGO "Zinvori Mayr" is working with the National Center for Aesthetics and within this project the center is attended by 30 children. All the 30 children of the program "Art therapy" have a variety of physical issues, for example - autism, scoliosis, cerebral palsy, issues with hearing, vision, etc. Much attention is paid to the children whose parents are in the service of the armed forces of Armenia, or where two of the children have a disability or health issues.

At the beginning of the project the organization provided the children with the necessary materials - bags, gouache, paper, markers, scissors, threads, embroidery frames and so on. The children are instructed by experienced teachers and psychiatrists with extensive experience of similar work with sick children - volunteers Gerasimos Harutyunyan and Christina Harutyunyan. They in practice apply the latest working methods to every child. The lessons of clay activity are conducted in workshops by Gevorg Tadevosyan, Sona Banoyan, lessons of painting by Gayane Vardanyan, Satik Kandayan, the lessons of handicraft by Gohar Mirzoyan, Gayane Mikaelian, vocal lessons by Armine Mirzakhanian, lessons of origami and handicraft by Mher Hrumshyan.

Coordinator of the program is the leading of the Centre - Emma Asatryan. Each lesson takes place in accordance with the characteristics of each age group and each child. For three months, along with teachers, volunteer psychologists Christine Harutyunyan and Gerasim Harutyunyan also worked, which in turn used a unique method of communicating with children. Periodic exhibitions are also organized within this project, where the works made by the children during lessons are demonstrated.

On October 17, 2015, the Russian Art Museum hosted an exhibition of children's art works by "Art-Therapy" program, organized by the "Zinvori Mayr" NGO with the assistance of the Fund of Armenian Relief.

The event, dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the "Zinvori Mayr" NGO and the exhibition of manual works by the participants of the "Art Therapy" program, with the assistance of the Fund of Armenian Relief, took place at the Russian Art Museum in Yerevan. The painting, graphic, embroidery and clay works of children with special physical needs were presented. Senior military men, public figures, artists and parents were present at the event.

Preparation of art works by talented children participating in the "Art Therapy" program at the exhibition by the program coordinator Ninel Hovnanyan.